Thursday, February 26, 2009


My new position as IT pitboss has placed me in the elite group of persons who have access to the Forbidden Zone. The Forbidden Zone is where the electronic devices that the Bureau will use in the field are kept. The devices are so Top Secret that almost everyone is denied access to them., but their existence is not a secret. Nor are their shortcomings.

The devices were originally intended to be used for all phases of Bureau operations, but field testing proved them to be very unreliable, so their use was scaled back to a single phase. No one is sure if the bugs and glitches have been worked out or if the units actually function at all.
Each unit has to be matched to a single individual fingerprint before it can be used, so we won't know if the set-up process works until the gizmos get handed out. If the devices don't work or if the operator can't use it, they are to call the Help Desk for assistance.

One of my first tasks is to train the Help Desk clerks, but in order to do that, I need to learn how to troubleshoot the gizmos myself and at the moment my training consists of some print-outs of a PowerPoint show that seems to be composed entirely of clip art and acronyms.
There is also a CD of moving images without text- my guess is that the CD has an audio component, but I have to wait for HQ to send headphones because we have none and we are prohibited from connecting any personal items to the Secret Federal Computers.
In fact, my job is so Top Secret that I am prohibited from knowing what I do. I couldn't tell you what I do even if I wanted to or if my life depended on it, for that matter.

Why HQ couldn't send the actual PP slideshow or headphones, or a complete manual or something -anything useful at all- is beyond me, but I have learned that it's pointless to ask "why?" at the Bureau.

When you toil in a bureaucracy , asking "why?" is a lot like to trying teach a sty of flying pigs to sing a medley of songs from musicals ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Jesus Christ Superstar and then expecting the choir of hogs to fly off into the sunset, trilling 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' as they vanish into distance. Your efforts will consume precious, irrecoverable, life-shaving days and will leave you drained and waiting in the end- only to be told that that pigs can't fly, and even if they did, all they'd do is rain shit.


Next: I have no clue.


yinyang said...

"...pigs can't fly, and even if they did, all they'd do is rain shit."


Your job just gets wackier and wackier all the time.

Sling said...

Totally cool that you get to play with top-secret government stuff!
..even if they don't tell you how it works.

Donn Coppens said...

The p'IT'boss eh? Is that the new CIA code-word for Wetboy?

I know that if you actually told me what you do that you'd have to kill I'm cool with that.

They're training you for some special suicide mission aren't they, maybe Gitmo, Albania, or Alabama?

Anonymous said...

Do you get to know the secret handshake?

yellowdog granny said...

oh fuck!...after reading you talk about your job..something (a little voice) kept ringing a familiar..almost had it...nope not quite ..almost...oh work for the government..
ahh, now it all makes sense

Craig D said...

...follow the money...

Ananda girl said...

Do they tell you when you get your vacation?

whimsical brainpan said...

Our gubberment dollars at work.

You should realy write a novel about this when it is all done.

more cowbell said...

Oh no, not the clip art laden powerpoint!

To this day, I am not allowed to say the name of the above-Top-Secret clearance I held in the Army.

I sometimes have these sudden urges to just BLURT IT OUT! I imagine sirens and flashing lights would commence with a computerized voice blaring, "SABOTAGE! SABOTAGE!"